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November 4, 2018 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Toldot

This week’s parsha contains the bizarre story of Jacob and the blessings: Jacob disguises himself as his brother Esau to get blessings from their father Isaac.

Why do I think this is strange? Because ultimately God determines one’s fate, not one’s father.

Rabbi Soloveitchik writes that Esau is “a man of the field” (Gen. 25:27)- that is, oriented towards the secular world, without much spirituality. If Jacob leaves the field to Esau, he “has no future.” But if Jacob fights for the secular world, what then? The Rav states: “Jacob,you can bring refinement to the field; you are able to hallow it. Through you, the field will be exalted.”

I think the Rav is trying to make an allegory here: the man of books and Torah (Jacob) should engage in the secular world (“the field”) otherwise he leaves that world to the Esaus of the world. And I also think the Rav is trying to say that Jacob’s quest for his father’s blessing is another way of saying that the man of Torah (Jacob) should compete in the secular world (the blessing).

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